Clive Adams

Consultant Curator: Art and Ecology

Clive Adams

Photo: Giuseppe La Spada

CCANW online archive now live

The purpose of the archive is to document and celebrate CCANW’s achievements and draw lessons from our successes and mistakes for the benefit of future generations, particularly the increasing number of artists and curators becoming involved in the area of art and ecology.

Visit the archive

Haldon Programme Covers

Programme covers from our time at Haldon Forest Park 2006-13

Since 1995, having become increasingly concerned with environmental issues, I had explored several options - notably at Poltimore House - to establish the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW) in Devon, leading in 2006 to the opening a Project Space in Haldon Forest Park. Our programme there was supported by Arts Council England and ranged from promoting the use of sustainably grown timber in architecture, to an exploration of the environmental impact of the fashion industry, solo and thematic exhibitions and partnership projects, such as the University of the Trees.

Having moved to the Innovation Centre in Exeter in 2013, we organised a number of smaller exhibitions, but much of our time was spent on delivering the Soil Culture project with several partners. At Dartington, we worked closely with from 2015 to deliver the Science Walden and other projects and increasingly worked internationally, for example with the Global Network of Water Museums. Finally, we began the work on the Our Living Soil project, linking COP26 with the World Congress of Soil Science in Glasgow.

After CCANW was dissolved in 2020, I secured funding from Bath Spa University to begin this online archive by bringing together photographs from former staff and artwork from our designer. The archive is divided into five sections, with the first two acting as a guide to the following three. The Home section gives a synopsis of the locations in which we tried to establish CCANW, the projects we were involved in and the fundraising challenges we faced. An Overview in the second section acts as a summary with links that lead to the final three sections which all contain a considerable amount of more detail. An Appendix lists articles, presentations and publications.

Currently, I am in the process of cataloguing and transferring books and catalogues from the former CCANW art and ecology library to Bath Spa University at Corsham Court.

I will soon resume sending out occasional newsletters with my news and information on forthcoming art and ecology projects.

Clive Adams 2024

Clive Adams: a brief biography

There is now increasing recognition of the important role that the Arts play in deepening humanity's understanding of the special responsibilities we have within Nature.

Arnolfini, Bristol (1974-79)

Clive was gallery co-ordinator at Arnolfini, Bristol (1974-79), then the largest contemporary arts complex outside of London. He initiated and hosted a series of major exhibitions including Martin Parr, ‘Artists Over Land’, Howard Hodgkin (1975), Jan Dibbets, Richard Long (1976), Robert Smithson (1977) and Carel Visser, Boyd Webb (1978).

Mostyn Art Gallery (1979-85)

As director of Mostyn Art Gallery (1979-85) he establishing it as Wales’s leading public exhibition space. Particular major exhibitions included Barry Flanagan, Edward Hopper (1981), J D Innes, Augustus John and Derwent Lees (1982) and David Nash (1983). For the exhibition ‘Turner in Wales’ (1984) the gallery was given a Prince of Wales Award.

Fabian Carlsson Gallery (1985-89)

He returned to London as managing director of Fabian Carlsson Gallery (1985-89), dealing in international contemporary and modern art, including works by De Kooning, Miro, Picasso, Rauschenberg and Warhol. He took particular responsibility for the work of Andy Goldsworthy and was closely involved in his projects in Japan and at the North Pole.

Independent Work (1989-2006)

In Britain, he compiled the catalogue raisonnés of Andy Goldsworthy’s photographs (1989) and Peter Randall-Page’s sculpture (1992) for the Henry Moore Centre of the Study of Sculpture. In Japan, he co-ordinated the exhibition ‘Sun, Wind and Rain:the Awakening of British Landscape Painting’ (1992) with major loans from the Tate Gallery and other national collections. He was a commissioner of Korea’s first international biennale (1995), responsible for selecting work from the Middle East and African countries.

Other exhibitions that he independently curated include ‘Love, Labour and Loss: 300 Years of British Livestock Farming in Art’, commissioned by Carlisle City Council for showings in Carlisle and Exeter (2002) and ‘The Impossible View?’ for The Lowry, the latter winning the Museums and Heritage Award for best UK temporary exhibition of 2003. A second major exhibition ‘The Art of White’ was curated for The Lowry in 2006.

CCANW (1995-20)

Initially overlapping with other curatorial work, he led the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World until it was dissolved in 2020. Since then, he personally continued some of its projects, delivered its online archive and transferred its library to Bath Spa University.